Congratulations to the new Chancellor's Fellows in the College of Science and Engineering
A group of outstanding early career researchers have been awarded one of the University of Edinburgh’s most prestigious fellowships.
A total of 33 academics have been announced as the latest Chancellor’s Fellows, a five-year tenure track that invests in researchers delivering cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and innovation. Twelve of whom will work at Schools and units from the College of Science and Engineering.
The University has awarded Chancellor’s Fellowships since 2014. They are designed to help the most promising academics advance from the early stages of their career to more senior roles, and to empower them to deliver ground-breaking research
They are for academics with a vision for future leadership in research and innovation, which may straddle leading a major area of research, forging new industry partnerships, or research-led teaching innovations.
The new fellows will be supported to achieve their research and leadership ambitions through a programme tailored to their aspirations.
New College of Science & Engineering Chancellor's Fellows
Dr Aida Rodrigo Albors
School of Biological Sciences
"My research focuses on spinal cord regeneration. As a Chancellor’s Fellow, I will bring together my expertise working with the highly regenerative axolotl and mouse models of spinal cord injury to uncover cellular and molecular mechanisms both supporting and limiting spinal cord regeneration. In the longer term, these insights can pave the way for new strategies to regenerate the injured spinal cord in humans."
Dr Richard Wheeler
School of Biological Sciences
Dr Richard Wheeler's research focuses on the molecular cell biology of unicellular Leishmania parasites, a deadly neglected tropical pathogen. By combining advanced reverse genetics and microscopy with development and integration of large datasets he aims to discover the most important cellular systems for Leishmania success as a parasite. A major focus is the flagellum, which the parasites use to swim and is necessary for progression through its life cycle.
Dr Ben Bhawal
School of Chemistry
"My research aims to develop new strategies for the chemical modification of complex organic molecules. This work will be underpinned by the use of catalysts, an inherently sustainable technology for chemical synthesis, and will exploit an innovative strategy to improve our understanding of their key structural features. This will inform the design of superior catalysts and will revolutionise the accelerated discovery of new pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals."
Dr Emmanuel Epelle
School of Engineering
Dr Emmanuel Epelle will be primarily developing innovative advanced oxidation technologies for the decontamination of wastewater and reusable medical devices. His research will feature the application of mathematical modelling and laboratory experimentation to analyse the susceptibility of recalcitrant contaminants to the developed treatment methods. Dr Epelle will also be exploring the application of process modelling for assessing the viability of waste biomass-to-hydrogen conversion processes and the subsequent hydrogen utilisation routes.
Dr Aliakbar Hassanpouryouzband
School of GeoSciences
"My ambition for this Chancellor’s Fellowship is to fulfil two objectives. Firstly, to support the development of the hydrogen economy to replace fossil fuels and secondly, to support the development of novel CO2 capture and storage technologies. The first objective will address fundamental research questions aimed at reducing the cost of hydrogen production in support of hydrogen as a future pathway to zero carbon system. The second objective is to develop the concept and commercial viability of removing excess CO2 from the air and sequestering the captured CO2 using alkali bases made from oil refinery by-products and waste construction materials to produce solid carbonates for use as industrial materials, sequestering the CO2 and adding value within a circular economy."
Dr Craig Innes
School of Informatics
"My research will focus on the future of conversational information assistants, like Siri, Alexa, and ChatGPT that work with us – and with each other – to accomplish complex real-world tasks for individuals, teams, and society. Toward these goals, the research will develop new deep learning models for interactive information retrieval and neural language models to support increasingly complex tasks."
Dr Mariia Dvoriashyna
School of Mathematics
Dr Dvoriashyna will use mathematical modelling to study various problems in biological fluid mechanics. In particular, she will investigate the transport of solutes in and around the brain, with an emphasis on drug delivery and metabolic waste clearance. She will also address problems in ocular fluid mechanics and the swimming of microorganisms.
Dr Adam Carnall
School of Physics & Astronomy
Dr Carnall's research focuses on the origins of the most massive galaxies in the Universe, studying their formation and evolution during the first few billion years of cosmic history. These massive galaxies follow an extreme evolutionary pathway, forming the majority of their stars very early in cosmic history, then shutting down (or quenching) star-formation activity, with the reasons for this still poorly understood. Dr Carnall will primarily be using data from the newly launched James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) during his Chancellor's Fellowship, having already been successful in winning observing time during the first year of JWST science operations.
Dr Liza Mijovic
School of Physics & Astronomy
Dr Liza Mijovic will lead the development of novel experimental probes of the Higgs mechanism at the Large Hadron Collider, CERN, with the aim to answer the major open questions about our Universe.
Dr Joe O’Connor
"As a Chancellor's Fellow at EPCC, I will be working towards accelerating marine energy simulations through a combination of machine learning and novel parallel computing. Specifically, this research will reduce the time and cost associated with performing high-fidelity computational fluid dynamics simulations of wave energy converters. This will enable larger, longer, and more detailed simulations than ever before, unlock previously intractable engineering workflows (e.g. optimisation, control, uncertainty quantification), and ultimately enhance current design capability for wave energy converters."
Dr Oliver Brown
"In my fellowship I will be investigating where, when, and how we will use quantum computing in High Performance Computing (HPC). Quantum processing units (QPUs) have great potential as accelerators for classical scientific computing, but there are important questions to be answered about which applications will really see a benefit, and how QPUs will interact with existing HPC programming models."
A new round of applications for the next 30 Chancellor’s Fellows will open in June 2023. The funding uplift from the Scottish Funding Council following the University’s strong REF2021 results will partly fund both sets of fellows.
The University was committed to ensuring the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion informed the appointment process. Nearly 60 per cent of the new cohort are female and 19 per cent are from ethnic minority groups.